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MP3 Günter Wehinger - Frozen Time

A superb chamber music ensemble mixing jazz, classical and folk music.

11 MP3 Songs in this album (63:35) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Chamber Jazz, CLASSICAL: Chamber Music

People who are interested in Kronos Quartet Hubert Laws should consider this download.

"FROZEN TIME" recorded 2002 & 2008 at the radio studio DRS in ZĂĽrich.
Ensembles: THE NEW TRIO (GĂĽnter Wehinger - flute, Daniel Pezzotti - violoncello, Chris Wiesendanger - piano)
EUROPEAN DOUBLE QUARTET (Adrian Frey - piano, Rätus Flisch - bass, Tony Renold - drums, Rachel Späth & Markus Fleck - violin, Dominik Fischer - viola, Andreas Fleck - Violoncello)

Günter Wehinger belongs to a very select group of musicians -- those who play jazz exclusively on the flute. He is also European; born in Austria he now resides in Switzerland. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Wehinger’s music explores areas between the jazz and western European art music traditions. Europeans have often adopted their own unique approach to jazz. The same can be said of flutists. The flute, which is found in virtually every tradition and period of music, lends itself readily to exploring forms at the junction points between genres, especially in the hands of an artist whose sensibilities have been shaped in Europe. This is borne out by the music on this recording.

From the opening notes of the first composition it is clear that this is no ordinary jazz recording. The beginning of “Journey” has an almost folk-like quality; Wiesendanger’s introduction reminds us that he cites Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder as major influences along with twentieth century composer Béla Bartók, and jazz players Hancock, Jarrett, Monk and Coltrane. The flute/cello blend that carries the melody is a fresh sonority, the line has the simple strength of the best popular music, and the solo episodes impress with their melodic clarity. “Summer Rain” introduces a new sonority -- the string group -- and a greater level of abstraction. The strings move from impressionist improvisation behind Wehinger’s flute, into more closely scored passages until the form coalesces into a jazz waltz, with strings backing piano and flute solos. A brief pizzicato episode adds variety to the texture.

The program continues to unfold with shifts of form and texture at each step. The trio presents a more straight-ahead rendition of a standard, “If I should Lose You,” with Pezzotti carrying the bass line in a song that, for me, always evokes Charlie Parker With Strings, and then moves to a piece based on material from the first two movements of Bohuslav Martinu’s Sonata for Flute and Piano. Originally commissioned by the Swiss Martinu Society in 2004, the piece constructs an impressionist landscape, beginning with a flute cadenza, then casting fragments from Martinu into a jazz ballad.

The Double Quartet then returns for a classical form -- a three-part suite -- that continues to combine the impressionist colors with fine jazz improvisations. Three further trio pieces continue in this vein, offset by the interjection of a tribute to Eric Dolphy from the Double Quartet. It says a lot about Wehinger’s synthesis of genres that Eric Dolphy, Bohuslav Martinu and the Great American Songbook all work together perfectly.

Frozen Time is another step in the development of Günter Wehinger’s music. His next recording will undoubtedly open a new chapter: “I have been listening more and more to modern classical composers like Messiaen, Ligeti and Gérard Grisey,” he writes. “I really love their music and admire their genius.” Whatever the future holds, Frozen Time establishes Wehinger in the upper echelons of jazz flutists and composers, and strikes another blow for the flute in jazz, strings in jazz, and the great European musical synthesis.

Linernotes by Peter Westbrook, Ph.D, is the author of The Flute in Jazz: Window on World Music



Wenn komplexer Jazz zu schweben beginnt: Der in Basel lebende Querflötist und Komponist Günter Wehinger tauft eine neue CD.

Heute wird der Österreicher, der seit langem bei Basel lebt, zu den weltbesten Jazzflötisten gezählt. Seit Beginn der 90er-Jahre spielt und tourt er mit namhaften Kollegen wie Pheeroan AkLaff, Art Lande oder Paul McCandless und hat zahlreiche eigene CDs eingespielt. Hohes Ansehen geniesst Wehinger (47) auch als Komponist. In seinen Songs und Suiten schafft er es, Strukturen und Klangfarben aus Jazz und Klassik zu komplex-atmosphärischen, dabei aber luftigen Stücken zu verflechten.

Hierfür arbeitet Wehinger oft mit klassischen Ensembles zusammen, so auch in seinem European Double Quartett, einem Joint Venture aus Jazz- und Streichquartett. Auf seiner neuen CD «Frozen Time» finden sich Aufnahmen dieses Doppelquartetts, ergänzt durch solche mit dem New Trio.

Frank von Niederhäusern im Tagesanzeiger, Zürich

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